Libertarian icon and former Republican Presidential candidate and Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson, recently appeared on the Steve Malzberg show on Newsmax TV to talk Presidential politics.
Malzberg was able to get Johnson to agree that in a vote between Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul, he would be comfortable voting for Senator Paul — but Johnson acknowledged he’d like to see who the Libertarian candidate would be first. Johnson also conceded that he was hoping to be that Libertarian candidate come 2016, but that he would wait for some time before “declaring” his intentions. Once declared, the life of a candidate becomes far more difficult.
Many Libertarians are loathe to consider voting for someone (anyone really) from one of the two major parties, but in this election they may really be able to affect change by supporting someone like Rand Paul. Rand Paul is as libertarian a candidate has been since 1964 when Barry Goldwater was the Republican nominee, and as J. Wilson at A Libertarian Future points out, libertarians may finally be in a position to win some victories here…
If libertarians are willing to give a little, we can take a lot. Supporting Rand Paul is a compromise, but the resulting deal will finally get us something. We’ll get a balanced budget, lower taxes, legalized medical marijuana, criminal justice reform, NSA reform, and less war. That’s a lot more than winning 1% of the vote will get us.
The positives for Libertarians are obvious; in Rand Paul they truly have a Republican candidate who would be willing to fight for certain libertarian causes. What is the benefit for Republicans? How about an extra 1 – 3% of the electorate? If we nominate Rand Paul, libertarians across the country will have to seriously consider voting Republican in 2016, and that could mean an extra 1% of American voters. In a Presidential election, that is a very big deal.
Before libertarians get to face the conundrum of voting Republican or Libertarian, it is the GOP voter who must first decide if Rand Paul is fit to serve as our nominee… and that is still very much up for debate.
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